Much has been said and written about the changes that Harlem has seen over the past two decades. However, few have actually shown what that means in real terms. “The Changing Face Of Harlem” forthcoming documentary by Shawn Batey intends to depict this and much more. I attended a screening of this in-progress film and look forward to seeing the final version.
As a Harlem resident, I feel as though this is an important film for people to see. While in some ways the revitalization of Harlem has led to some positive things, many in the community feel left out in terms of what is affordable. Yes, there are new opportunities represented by new businesses coming to the neighborhood, but there is a lack of balance in terms of affordable housing being built. The effects of these market forces go far beyond Harlem. Urban renewal seems to be at odds with affordability in different parts of the country as well. Whether or not things have to be this way, is a question of policy.
Shawn Batey’s rough-cut does a good job of showing both sides of the question. Currently, she is raising funds to produce a fine cut of the film. If you are interested in donating to the effort, you can do so over at the Women Make Movies page and scroll down to “Changing Faces of Harlem”
To find out more about the film, go to: Changing Face Of Harlem
To see a trailer for the film go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/760578414/changing-face-of-harlem/widget/video.html